Richard Holden[52133]

Government roads minister Richard Holden gained first hand experience of DHL Supply Chain's LGV driver training programme and drove one of the group's new heavy-duty electric trucks on his recent visit to the group's Transport Development Centre (TDC) in Crick.

Under close supervision from a DHL driver assessor, Holden (pictured) took the 40-tonne Volvo FM electric truck through a series of test manoeuvres.

He was also given a tour of the group's driver training facilities, where DHL Supply Chain carries out its new training programme, Driving Ambition. The programme provides fully funded training for applicants to qualify as LGV drivers.

The 40-tonne Volvo FM electric truck driven by the minister is one of four which arrived at DHL Supply Chain in March this year.

They are the first of their kind to hit the UK's roads and feature Volvo’s largest 540kWh battery which provides 666hp, giving the zero-emissions trucks a range of up to 300km/180 miles. All four trucks are directly replacing diesel equivalents in DHL's fleet.

Natalie Frow, DHL retail managing director, said: “We were delighted to host Minister Holden to our unique training facility and give him the chance to test drive one of the most sustainable heavy-duty trucks on UK roads.

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"Since launching the TDC it’s been a huge success, breaking down barriers to candidates who want to explore a driving career and creating a pipeline of qualified new drivers into our business.”

DHL’s new training programme, dubbed Driving Ambition is located at the group's Transport Development Centre in Crick and provides fully funded training for applicants to qualify as LGV drivers.

New recruits are taken through an end-to-end course, covering everything from medical checks to driving theory and practical training. Since launch, over 600 prospective drivers have obtained LGV licences through the centre.

Holden said: “It was great to get behind the wheel of one of the UK’s first fully electric trucks and see DHL’s comprehensive training first-hand.

“Moving goods across the country is the backbone of our economy and that is why we have extensively worked with the sector to encourage more people into the sector and aid the transition to an electric fleet through nearly £200m.”